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Old 03-31-2006, 11:44 AM
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Manifold polishing FINALLY done

These pics are in reverse order of the polishing sequence...from last to first. After getting this far I must join the chorus of those who say, "Don't do it". It's just not worth the time and work. You'd be much better off picking up a minimum wage job at McDonalds for two weeks and using the money to hire it done. I have over 300 REAL hours in this thing - and I could have had it polished in a shop for $180. In addition, it was one of the most frustrating tasks I have ever encountered - as I noted here http://hotrodders.com/forum/polisher...ong-83907.html

On top of all that, I am not that pleased with the results. After all that investment of time and muscle, there are STILL scratches and blemishes in the surface. This is quite unlike buffing paint where you make steady progress and can reach something verging on perfection. Metal polishing just seems to turn up endless flaws in the metal or in the prior sanding effort.

Nevertheless, here are the results along with a few pictures of the process along the way. The first three shots are of the completed polish. I still have to apply a clear powder coat to protect the finish which I'll do next week - so the final result will be a bit duller than what you see here. (BTW, I apologize to those with slow internet connections for all the pics - but I wanted to try to depict the entire process.)

Here is the finished product after 310 hours of work:







Here is the original manifold as it came off the motor:



Here is a close up of the texture of the metal surface you are contending with:



A shot showing the difficulty of cleaning up the raised script. This is sanded to 80 grit:



A shot after the manifold was gone over with a sand blaster, then with carbide burrs, then with 50, 80, and 100 grit paper. After this stage, the manifold was sanded with 220, 400, 600, 1200 grit paper, then hit with 320 grit compound on a buffing head, then hit with tripoli polish, a rouge polish and finally some Mothers aluminum polish.



I DO appreciate all the tips and encouragement members offered in the linked thread above...but unless you are a glutton for punishment, I can't recommend tackling this task to anybody. All I can say is, thank goodness it's done...and now on to a summer of great cruising.

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Old 03-31-2006, 02:18 PM
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Congrats on finally getting it done! It really looks great! Sometime soon the Mrs. and myself will have to cruise on up.


In a while, Chet.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:45 PM
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I think the manifold looks great! You really did a good job. Now...are you gonna clear coat it so it won't tarnish on ya?
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Old 03-31-2006, 03:59 PM
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Looks great, even though it sounds as if it was a PITA, there is the pride in having done it yourself.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
Now...are you gonna clear coat it so it won't tarnish on ya?
I'm going to powder coat it clear. From everything I hear this will dull the shine but I figure it is the lesser of the available evils. Next week I start my powder coating journey. I'll do the manifold last - so I can hopefully work through my mistakes on less important parts.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnitz
Sometime soon the Mrs. and myself will have to cruise on up.
Great...just let me know when you can get away. BTW, Dorothy didn't send me to the doghouse after you and I got a little carried away at Harbor Freight. In fact, she would have been happy wandering around Barnes and Noble for another hour at least.
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Old 03-31-2006, 04:17 PM
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I am trying to think.....somebody has a special clear out just for intakes....I may be wrong, but I think it might be Zoops.
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:35 PM
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Just curious, how many hours do you think you have invested in this job? BTW, it's spectacular!

Russ
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10xGN
Just curious, how many hours do you think you have invested in this job?
310. Now some of those hours were spent trying to invent new tools and methods for the grinding, sanding and polishing, but even discounting those (mostly failed) efforts, I'd still have to say well over 250 hours of actual sanding and polishing time. So if you're putting any sort of value on your labor, this is clearly not a do-it-yourself job that will save you money. Also, never start this project if you are under a time deadline (like you HAVE to have you car back on the road in 3 weeks.) Some guys on this forum say they can do a job like this in far less time...so you can take my experience for what it's worth. Just one guys experience.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
I am trying to think.....somebody has a special clear out just for intakes....I may be wrong, but I think it might be Zoops.
your not wrong, it is zoop-seal, and its made to chemicly bond to the polished piece somehow or something like that

seams to be pretty good stuff

oh yea, cboy, the intake thats in the pics i posted in your old thread. i gave up on it. im just gonna smooth it and when it comes time to sell it im just going to let the buyer tell me what color he wants it powdercoated since a buddie is making an oven

this is the first and last intake ill ever try to polish ...
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:38 PM
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Great job Cboy. I had a harley and polished some small parts then i decided to do the brake calipers. After spending about 20 hours on each of them there was no way I would even think about doing a project like that. Looks like u did one hell of a job and there is nothing like saying that u did it yourself.

Brad
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:37 AM
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Wouldnt it have been easier to buy a manifold already polished then buy all the stuff to do it not to mention your time?
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:59 AM
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that's a piece of work. It really looks great. Good job.
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by web01_99
Wouldnt it have been easier to buy a manifold already polished then buy all the stuff to do it not to mention your time?
Yup - except that Edelbrock does not offer BB Ford intakes already polished. But like I said in my opening post...you're better off working two weeks at McDonalds and paying a shop $180 to do it for you.
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Old 04-02-2006, 12:25 PM
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well, there's something to be said about all you've done. but i don't think this is the forum for those type of comments.. iI can say kudos to you. I think it looks great.
thats a chunk of time and work. and i don't care what anyone says, i rate my time highly. and i'm not even retired.
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